Two Distinguished Alumni Honored

Golden Gate Baptist Theological Seminary honored Floyd Michael (Mike) Story and Benny Wong with Distinguished Alumni Awards on June 16 at the Seminary’s Alumni and Friends luncheon, during the annual meeting of the Southern Baptist Convention June 15-16 in Orlando, Fla.

Seminary President Jeff Iorg praised the work of Story and Wong as pastors, and described their ministries.

Story is an Oklahoma native who graduated from Golden Gate in 1980 with a Doctor of Ministry degree. He began his ministry in 1972 as a youth pastor before serving as Senior Pastor first in Oklahoma and then in Colorado. In 1990 he founded Community of Grace Church in Centennial, Colorado, and pastored there for 19 years, while simultaneously teaching as an adjunct professor at Golden Gate’s Rocky Mountain campus. He is currently Director of Baptist Collegiate Ministry at Oklahoma State University in Stillwater, Oklahoma.

Iorg also presented an alumnus award to Benny Wong, pastor of First Chinese Baptist Church of Los Angeles, where he has served since 1993. Born and reared in Hong Kong, Wong moved to Canada in 1978, where he came to know the Lord. He spent 14 years in ministry in Canada. During this period he also earned a Master of Divinity in Taiwan. While pastoring First Chinese Baptist, Wong received his Doctor of Ministry from Golden Gate in 2001.

Also at the luncheon, Iorg reported on the work of the five-campus Seminary, noting a budget increase of 3.5% from last year, which enabled preservation of all current positions; all current benefits; ending the Plus One Program for the faculty (who have taught one overload course this year without compensation); and adding a few part-time support positions.

"My vision for Golden Gate Seminary is to be where the people are," Iorg said. "That's why we have campuses across the west, minister to Haitian communities in Miami, and Hispanic ministers across Oklahoma, and why we recently held a graduation at San Quentin State Prison."

The president explained the adoption of a new Faculty Rank and Compensation plan which will provide the framework to improve faculty compensation strategy. He announced the receipt of $12.4 million toward a $13 million goal through the Partners for the Future Campaign, which included recent gifts of two $1 million endowments. Iorg stated that campus housing is now available at the Southern California campus, and noted the election of Vice President for Enrollment Services, Dr. Adam Groza; plus the addition of one new faculty member, Dr. Prosperly Lyngdoh, as Associate Professor of Missions at the Northern California campus.

"I believe that God will provide for what God wants to do" Iorg concluded. "He has provided for us. We will end this year in the black and positioned to expand our ministry in strategic ways."